Three Trends Shaping MBAs Today

Recruiting season has begun at business schools around the country. But as the ripples from the financial fallout continue to spread, slashed budgets and a freeze on new recruits by consulting firms and banks is the harsh reality for many soon-to-be grads. 

The acronym MBA should stand for “More Bitterness Ahead,” Time magazine’s Jeremy Caplan wrote last week. Between their first and second years of school, most MBA candidates intern in the hopes of securing a promised position after graduation. This year’s class has more students in a holding pattern, even after successful internships, as firms want to see how the economy looks at year’s end before committing to a new class of recruits.

“There’s likely to be more ‘as-needed’ hiring,” says Regina Resnick, Assistant Dean at the Columbia Business School, where about half of the graduating class typically pursues employment in financial services, whether in venture capital, private equity, investment banking or something related.

According to Time, some of the trends shaping this year’s recruiting season include:

  • Opportunistic Recruiting:  MBA career advisers say smaller firms and boutique investment companies are taking advantage of Wall Street’s weakness to try to snatch up the smartest young talent.
  • Geographic Retrenchment:  Some financial firms that do have slots to fill this fall will cut back on the number of schools they visit. Rather than covering all corners of the country, some firms are focusing on a smaller core group of schools. That may hurt schools further afield that ordinarily benefit from companies casting a wide net.
  • Heightened Competition:  As the financial recruiting process slows, students who had planned on working in finance are competing more aggressively for consulting and other positions.

Roxanne Hori, Assistant Dean and Director of the Career Management Center at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, says the silver lining in the current climate is that many students have shown growing interest in other areas, such as social enterprise, energy and health care.  For those who really want to follow the Wall Street herd, it’s going to be a game of “wait and see” whether the recruiters eventually do come knocking.

We are now on Facebook – please join the Stacy Blackman Consulting group, or become a friend of Stacy Blackman. I am posting news about MBA related events, job listings, and of course MBA news.

I am on Twitter too…click to follow me on Twitter!

For a concise, thoughtful guide that will help you navigate the MBA admissions process with greater success, order our NEW book, The MBA Application Roadmap.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


(323) 934-3936

Latest Blog Post

Duke MBA Deadlines for 2023-2024

Are you targeting Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in the upcoming admissions cycle? Get ready to mark your calendar because here are the Duke MBA deadlines for the 2023-24 application season. Note that ...